Harvest Pumpkin Cake and the Balloon Party

I have fond memories of spending Thanksgiving morning in my PJ’s in front of the TV watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Now, it usually involves cooking while watching the parade, but nonetheless, the parade is always part of the day. A few years ago, my aunt moved to New York and happens to live near the start of the parade. I visited her for her first Thanksgiving in NYC and was so excited to see the parade in real life. I soon found out that unless you camp out the night before or are seven feet tall, you can’t see diddly squat. This year, I am back in NYC and had to find a better way. My aunt threw a “balloon party” the night before Thanksgiving and the idea was that people would come to eat, drink, and walk down to see the balloons as they pleased. Once we saw the massive crowd out her window, we happily ate, drank, and blew up balloons inside the comfort of her apartment instead.

By the next morning, the crowds had moved to the parade route so we were able to go check out the balloons that were lined up waiting to hop into the start of the parade.

And that, folks, is where it’s at. 81st and Central Park West from 8-10am Thanksgiving morning. Front row seats to the pre-parade.

Now that we perfected our Thanksgiving day parade route, I decided that it was time to perfect my pumpkin cake. Nothing was wrong with the first version, but I recently tasted a better version that I had to remake. And here, folks, is where it’s at:

Harvest Pumpkin Cake

Recipe Adapted from Feast On This

{print me!}

Serves 12-16

Cake & Crust

  • 2 cans of pumpkin (15 ounces)
  • 1 can of evaporated milk (12 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves

Whipped Topping

  • 1 brick of cream cheese (8 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 ounces Cool Whip
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place pecan halves onto a baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant. Once cooled, chop the pecans and set aside.

Mix the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, evaporated milk, and sugar in a bowl. Then add the eggs and vanilla. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the baking pan. Sprinkle the cake mix atop the pumpkin mixture. Evenly pour the melted butter on top of the cake mix, and top it all off with the chopped pecans.

Bake for about an hour or until golden brown. Once cooled, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Mix together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla with a hand or stand mixer until smooth. Fold in the cool whip.

Place a platter on top of the chilled pumpkin cake and turn it upside down. The cake should fall out of the pan onto the platter. If it does not, you can slice the cake in quarters, take each quarter out with a spatula, and turn upside down on the platter.

Spread the whipped topping on the pumpkin cake. Slice the cake and serve!

Hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving and a successful Black Friday!

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Through easy and and delicious healthy recipes, meal plans, health tips, and real life ramblings, I hope to inspire you to find the right measurements to create your own happy and healthy life. One teaspoon at a time.

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